My name is Jamie a.k.a SnipedByAGir1. I would definitely consider myself a hardcore Xbox gamer. I do play for fun, but I also join a lot of GamerScore competitions on TrueAchievements.
What does being a woman in gaming mean to you?
Being a woman in gaming has always made me a sort of oddity. None of my real life female friends play. To be honest, my husband doesn’t play much either unless it involves something sports related. I guess I’m lucky because even though he doesn’t play, he’s always supported my “obsession” and I’m thankful to him for that.
There’s still this stigma around female gamers that I just don’t understand. I’m never ashamed when friends of mine find out that I game. I’m proud of it. It should be a socially acceptable form of entertainment for girls and woman of any age. I think that’s why I’ve invested so much time in climbing the Xbox GamerScore leaderboards. It’s very heavily dominated by men and it sort of drives me and gives me purpose. I want to show the niche group of GamerScore hunters that woman are here to play too.
What’s your favourite game to play on Xbox and why?
If I was choosing an Xbox exclusive I would have to say Halo: The Master Chief Collection. I have played 100s of hours of Halo games. It’s also one of the rare games that as a family we’ve all sat down together for an evening of splitscreen MP fun. Crazy thing is, for the amount of hours that I’ve put into Halo I still don’t fully know what the heck is going on. I rarely play this series by myself, I’m always with friends. When I play with my friends we always skip the cutscenes or when there’s someone talking and we’re standing around we’re constantly running around laughing and trying to kill each other. So Halo is definitely one of my favorite games to play. One day, I will figure out everything that’s going on in that universe.
A close second for me is Sea of Thieves. Again I love it because I play it with my gaming besties. I have major waterphobia when it comes to games. I can’t handle being in the water when I know there are sharks around (I can however swim in the real ocean just fine). My friends find it very entertaining when we have to jump from the ship to swim to an island or when we’re trying to get an achievement for shooting someone from a cannon onto another boat. My friends were super nice and constantly sent me flying into water. I reciprocated by screaming in their ears. It’s definitely a fun game to play with a group and we’ve spent many hours laughing together in this game.
What challenges have you experienced as a woman who plays games?
Unfortunately, gaming has always been seen as a boys thing to do. I guess lucky for me I was the only girl growing up on a street full of boys. I started playing Nintendo with the kids on the street when it first came out. I was hooked from the get go. Even back then, the girls that I knew always found it weird that I would rather hang with the boys and play video games instead of play with dolls.
Maybe because I have ‘Gir1’ in my name people feel like they can treat me differently online. I’m lucky in that I’ve found a really great core group of friends that are all adults that I can game with on a regular basis. I’ve definitely had my fair share of Xbox messages asking me if I “want to date?”, “am I hot?”, “want to voice chat?” etc. No thanks! I’m a married 41 year old mom with 2 daughters.
Overall though most of my online experiences have been super positive.
Are there any positives to being a gamer? If so what are they
I feel like being a gamer keeps my young. One of my first introductions to gaming was going to visit my Great Aunt. She was a gamer herself. I would sit and watch her play Gauntlet and Zelda for hours. It also gave me, a kid at the time, a connection with my much older Aunt. It bridged the age gap. It brought me close to my own nephews when they were young. I also have much younger sisters and it has helped me connect with them over the years. Gaming is capable of bringing people of all ages together.
I think another positive to being a gamer, is that it has helped me get through the long COVID lockdowns we’ve had. I’ve been able to stay social with people other than those that live in my house.
What do you think needs to happen for women to feel more empowered and belong in the gaming industry? Is there anything we can do now to enact change?
That’s a great question and I don’t really have a good answer or solution for that. I think there needs to be more coverage of women in gaming. I feel like this is increasing at a good pace right now. There are definitely more women streaming then there have been in the past. I’m always toying with the idea of streaming myself. Honestly, I think Skyrim Grandma a.k.a Shirley Curry is awesome. I completely want to be like her when I’m older.
I’d also like to see a lot more exposure to women in esports. Maybe there needs to be more women’s only tournaments held to expose women on a larger scale and normalize our presence in these events.
Is there anything that you’ve done in gaming that you’d like to share? Have you achieved anything special or done anything in the gaming industry that we should know about?
I have been gaming since the Nintendo was released in North America, so since I was about 7 or 8 years old. I’ve played all the Nintendo systems, Playstations, you name it. I got my first Xbox in 2010. I unlocked my first achievement in Halo Reach on September 19, 2010. Since that time I have become a complete GamerScore junkie. There’s just something about Xbox and their achievement system that makes it so unique. It was their system that actually enabled me to feel like I had finished certain games. To this day I will not get rid of a game if I haven’t earned every achievement in it.
I am currently the Number 1 female GamerScore holder in Canada. As of today, I’ve wracked up 1,159,493 GamerScore. I was also awarded the Xbox Hall of Fame Lifetime Award for Game Pass Ruler of Canada.
My other form of GamerScore hunting comes in the form of competing with a group of friends of mine in TrueAchievement’s Great True Achievement GamerScore Competition. My team is Vicious and Delicious and most of us have been gaming together since 2015. It’s a blast gaming with them and we’ve had a couple of top 5 finishes.